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I recently came across this question which immediately starts off with [sic]

I asked a similiar question 10 minutes ago, but pasted the wrong code snippet. I'm really sorry about that.

Going through that user's profile page, I found the original question which has been edited to remove all content of the question.

The user appears to have made a mistake in asking a question and received several answers that are valid per that mistake. The user created a new question because an edit would invalidate those answers. In a comment on the new question, the user stated [sic]

Changing the question in place would have changed the context and correct answers would possibly downvoted.

And kudos for thinking ahead to that. I do believe, however, that the user's response to this (removing content from the original question) was not in the best interest of the site.

What should be done in this situation? When a question asked incorrectly (incorrect being not what the asker intended) receives correct/valid answers, what should the asker do? I would expect the user to leave the question as is and ask a separate question, but my concern is that given that it's not the question they intended to ask, they may not be the best authority for selecting an answer in the initial question.

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In this case my question simply didn't match the posted code. I looked for an option to mark the existing code as strucked out but didn't found anything using the help button (with the intention to add the correct version). The situtation was too embarrasing therefore I decided to invalidate the question (and tagged it for moderator attention). –  stacker Sep 24 '12 at 19:22
    
@stacker Ok...I handled the flags on the earlier question and declined them because there was substantial upvoted and accepted answer. I wasn't aware of this newer question. Does the accepted answer on your original question answer the newer one? –  The Anti-Santa Sep 25 '12 at 0:17

1 Answer 1

I would expect the user to leave the question as is and ask a separate question

And that is exactly what they should do.

In the event that the OP vandalizes their own question by removing everything, the appropriate thing for you to do is to rollback that edit (which is exactly what you did) and optionally add a comment indicating that you shouldn't remove all of the content of a question.

In the event that they edit the question to significantly change its meaning (which is not what happened here), after several answers have already been posted, it would be appropriate to roll back those edits and inform the OP (via comments) that they should ask a new question.

but my concern is that given that it's not the question they intended to ask, they may not be the best authority for selecting an answer in the initial question.

If that is the case then they can simply not accept an answer to that question. If they do happen to know enough about what's going on then they are still free to accept an answer that they know would solve that problem if it existed. Remember that there is nothing wrong with having a question that has no accepted answer.

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It could also help if the questioner would comment on his or her own question to mention the error, thank the responders to the old question, say they're not going to mark an accepted answer because they're not sure (since it's not the question they meant to ask), and give the link to the new question. –  Tom Harris Dec 28 '12 at 11:11

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